1 Reply Latest reply on Jan 21, 2021 2:45 PM by Cara Jensen

    Seeking Board of Special Inquiry of New Orleans

    Clara Zaccagnini Newbie

      Hello, I would like to know if the records of the Board of Special Inquiry of New Orleans of 1904 exist and if there is specific material on the "incident" of the Liguria steamer of October 22, 1904, where numerous Italian immigrants were denied to disembark and also to ask for an appeal. Almost 10% of the immigrants on the steamer got rejected because of "likely to become a public charge" even though they were not and had already been examined in Palermo, where they had passed a strict selection. I wish I could read the record of the board because, indeed, 39 of them managed to appeal and still, most of them got rejected. Thank you in advance.

        • Re: Seeking Board of Special Inquiry of New Orleans
          Cara Jensen Tracker

          Dear Ms. Zaccagnini,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Subject Index to Correspondence and Case Files, 1903 - 3/31/1957 (Microfilm Publication T458) in the Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Record Group 85) that serves as an index to part of the Subject and Policy Files, 1906 - 1957 in Record Group 85, which may include a record of the BSI appeal hearings for the passengers of the Liguria in 1904. For access to these records, please contact the National Archives at Washington DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) via email at archives1reference@nara.gov.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          Please note that not all of the BSI related files survive.  Records from most ports were destroyed years ago.  Today, files exist only for cases appealed to INS headquarters in Washington, DC.  There is usually no surviving record for non-appealed exclusion hearings, which made up the majority of cases.  In this case, the entry on the manifest would be the only documentation that exists related to the BSI action.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!